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Submission + - Germany To Test Actively-Cooled Spacecraft (

FleaPlus writes: The German Aerospace Center is planning to launch a novel reusable spacecraft in 2011, incorporating flat damage-resistant tiles. Nitrogen will be pumped through the porous tiles, creating a protective gas layer that actively cools and shields the hottest parts of the spacecraft from the searing heat of reentry. The 12.5M-euro unmanned 'SHEFEX II' project is a major technological step towards the team's eventual goal of a reusable space glider which will be cheaper and easier-to-build than NASA's space shuttle.
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Germany To Test Actively-Cooled Spacecraft

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Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.